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March 8, 2000

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from America On-Line:

I am thinking of using Stevia as a substitute for Nutrasweet for our family. Would you mind expanding on any research that suggests any potential problems with this ingredient? That is, most articles I have researched have shown no toxic results from use of Stevia.

Answer:

Stevia is an extract from the plant Stevia Rebaudiana which contains a glycoside stevioside which is about 300 times sweeter than sugar. In the past there have been some thinly substantiated studies to suggest that either stevioside or its derivative steviol may be mutagenic. You could review this theme if you searched under ‘stevia toxicity’ at PubMed. Nutrition opinion, however, seems to be that the substance is safe for family use.

DOB